The three most important job interview questions to ask a sales profile
Hiring the right sales profile makes a world of difference. But how do you ensure a perfect match? In this blog, we reveal the three most important questions you should ask applicants.
As always, start at the beginning: of course you're going to ask your candidates the "regular" job interview questions. There is one of those regulars that we want to emphasize as its importance is often overlooked, and therefore is our first must-have tip:
1. How would you react in situation x and tell us about your thought process?
The answer to this question is actually not that important, what you are really looking for is to find out the thought process of the person sitting across from you. Will the applicant immediately ask for help, or first try something on their own and only then ask for help? You immediately get a lot of personal and characteristic information about your applicant.
Choose a relevant sales situation related to your company. That could be, for example: how would you react if a dissatisfied customer calls you because the delivery is late. Of course, what constitutes a good thought process depends on the DNA of your organization and what you expect from someone on your sales team.
2. Would you describe yourself as a hunter or farmer? What % of each is in your ideal job?
Hunting and farming are two different sales strategies. In the majority of companies, you'll need both, but the emphasis is different. A sales profile that prefers to go hunting will not be happy in a farming environment and vice versa.
Therefore, have your applicants describe their ideal combination first, before you explain how things work in your company. And if you don't already know, say so honestly. Then that will be one of the future tasks to find out and then your applicant will know what to expect.
3. Role play!
Our absolute top tip for a job application: a sales role-play. Will the applicant continue to ask questions or immediately go into "convince" mode? Do the questions asked expose the pain of the customer/client? This will give you a lot of information about the seniority and maturity of your applicant.
At the end of the role-play you provide feedback and can immediately gauge how that person handles it and thus how coachable they are. If you have several application rounds, role-play in all of them. That way you will immediately notice if the feedback from the previous round is taken into account in the next. Definitely worth it if you ask us!